How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The popular season is here with record temps across the country, and with the vast majority of homes having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the ideal way to escape the sun. As you are relaxing in your comfortably cool home or office, grateful that your air conditioner runs well, let’s take a peek at how a typical cooling system functions.

The Basics

Your air conditioner runs the similar to your refrigerator, but understandably rather than keeping a single space cool, it has to effectively provide cooler air to your whole home. Both use a refrigerant that changes swiftly from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a regular ring from the exterior to indoors. It goes into the home as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and assembles or absorbs heat from the air in your home, expands back into vapor, then returns to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is transferred back to a sub-cooled liquid.

The Components

Your AC system is built of four key components: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.

The piece where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid to a super-heated vapor is called the evaporator coil, which may be indoors, in your attic, or in your garage. As warm indoor air is moved throughout the cold evaporator coil, heat is removed from the air…and the colder air is pushed throughout your indoor space.

From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant returns to the compressor stationed in your exterior condensing unit. The compressor raises the pressure of the vapor until it shifts into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor goes into the condenser coil where a smaller amount hot air blows across the coil, eliminating the heat to the outdoors, and switches the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is pushed to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is repeated.

Your AC system is a constant loop of processes. We understand the important thing to you might not be how your AC operates, but that it’s working successfully. If you’d like to talk science or just about keeping cool, give our professionals a call at 337-335-0992. We will team up with you and the laws of physics to confirm you cool this season.

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